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Rehearsal Mayflower Steps 13th June

Boats in  bus shelter

I have made new sets of prototypes for the large boats, white and mirrored.

Glorious day! Took the train  down for morning rehearsal. Packed with people – lucky that the big boats were flat pack and I could put them on the luggage rack, and that a bus was waiting at Plymouth railway station to ferry me down to the Barbican otherwise there were some potential Charlie Chaplin moments for sure.

I arrived a bit early, so made up the boats in the bus shelter and photographed their reflections in the glass and against the blue doors.

Watched a group of reckless youths with fluorescent socks jumping off the walls and into the water around the Mayflower steps until they were chased off by the harbour master.

The dancers all arrived on their bicycles with Stephan following on foot. We got the dancers to take the boats over to the Mayflower Steps. The scaled up versions were fine and we decided on the boats with mirrored insides as they bounched rays of light onto the dancers which looked really good. The dancers put the boats in the water and pulled them along on the cords.  I liked the way  the large scale of the boats made the dancers look rather like children at the boating pool at the park.

Stayed on afterwards to watch the rehearsal.

S.K. has got the dancers to find a watery, liquid dynamic to the space, swirling in eddies, being pushed against walls, gently lapping against the walls with finger tips. Hands sometimes like fins, flippers, restless, reverent. Loved the way S.K. wanted to slow everything down – he kept saying “It’s all happening too fast!” To my unfocussed eyes, it didn’t look that fast to start with, but slowed down it was altogether different, weightier, more poetic.

First rehearsal

Walked to the station with Rosalind, one of the dancers who was catching the same train as me, but getting off at Totnes. She has a great look, like a qwirky character from a children’s book. Turns out she is interested in doing illustration (as well as being  a fantastic dancer!), so we talked about Camberwell and Book Arts and combining these with dance, movement and costume making.